He: Open up? Let's have a look to see how that extraction site has healed.
Me, opens up.
Me, still as open and as wide as possible.
He, putting his full hand, a toy truck and an old Christmas tree inside: Hmmm. Not much room in here.
Me, still open, nods.
He: Too small. Your bones didn't heal as I'd hoped they would. They are 2 mm too narrow and low.
Me, not surprised in the least, nods.
He: I'd like you to go get a CAT scan. It's not covered by your dental, so you'll have to pay for it up front, but everything is so small and narrow in there, I'd like a better blueprint of where your nerves are and where this bone ends.
Me, so very tired of this project, nods.
He: You're going to need a bone graft.
Me, not wanting to spend any more money on my mouth, nods.
He: And after the bone graft, which will take 8 months to heal, and will cause some discomfort in the beginning, after that, we can get started on the implant. That won't be covered by your dental plan, either, by the way. We'll need to get paid directly from you.
Me, nods but is being very non-committal. I hope he isn't counting on this procedure to help him to finish paying for his new swimming pool.
He: And then you go back to your regular dentist and get a crown put in place. I'm not sure if that will be covered. You'll likely be paying for that directly as well.
Me, very much bored with this entire conversation, nods.
He walks me to the front desk. Makes sure I've got all the forms. Then pretends his hand is holding a phone receiver to his ear and says, "I'll call you."
Pretty sure I'm not going to answer.
My doctor's office's parking lot is full. I can't find a spot.
Sadly, I drive a block and find parking in another lot. The closest spot is furthest away from the parking meter.
I lock my truck and limp over there, counting each footstep.
My Visa card is not in my wallet. I've left it at home in my jacket pocket.
I limp back to my truck and drive over to the hospitals's parking lot. The only open spot is in the furthest corner, away from the meter and across the road from my doctor's office.
I get out of my truck and start limping.
"JANE! Is that you? How are you?
I, for the life of me cannot remember her name. Or where I know her from. She is familiar, but from where? A past job? A Fundy mom? A friend's sister?
"What're you up to ...."
We make small talk for a few minutes, and I start to worry about how late I'm going to be for my appointment. I've been driving around parking lots for at least 15 minutes.
"Oh, by the way. My appointment was cancelled and I still have an hour left on my spot. Here. I'll pull out, and you can have the receipt."
"Oh my goodness, THANK YOU. You have no idea..."
(Turns out she was a Fundy mom. And a friend's sister. And one of Max's friend's moms. Of course, I remembered that an hour later...)
(Also turns out, I was 20 minutes late for my appointment, so I lost my spot. She saw my face, though, and pulled me into an examining room right away. I heard her deal with the wrath of other patients in the waiting room afterwards.)
I'm seeing a her for the first time ever. My regular doctor, a male, is Just Too Busy.
Her: So, what're we in for?
Me: My heel. I think it's a bone spur, but I want to get it checked, just to make sure. It's been two months and the pain keeps building. There have been days when I've absolutely been unable to put any weight on it at all.
Her: Have you fractured it before?
Her: So no previous injuries?
Her: Let's have a look.
She presses all the points that make me wince.
Her: Yes, I'd say you have a bone spur. Let's get it xrayed to make sure.
Her: But you realize there really isn't anything we can do, right? Take anti-inflamatories. But those are likely hard on your stomach?
Her: Maybe get a gel-pad for you shoe?
Me, nods. (But thinking to myself, this pain is WELL PAST A GEL PAD.)
Her: You could try getting it massaged?
Her: Couldn't hurt. Might help...
Her: Or maybe, uh, acupuncture?
Me: What? Are you kidding?
Her: I dunno. I can't recommend anyone and it's probably not covered, but you could try.
Me, putting sock and boot back on: Well, OK, thanks.
Her: Oh, and by the way, you were right. You do have a bladder infection.
Her: Here's the x-ray form. You can just walk over to the hospital and they'll do it now, if you want.
I limp out of her office, walk through the parking lot and realize my 'free' parking is up. If I want to stay in this lot, I'll have to walk over there to pay for another hour. And then walk over there to the hospital, and then walk through the halls to get to the lab and then walk all the way back there to get back to my truck.
I can't do it.
I want to nap. And wonder if there's anyone that can scrape that bit of bone off my heel and put it into my tooth socket. I have everything I need. They're just not all in the right places.
I'm thinking of all those people in my life today who have real health issues. Brenda with cancer, Mrs. Bartel with meningitis, Katie with severe epilepsy, plus a whack of others - and I'm praying for healing and peace for the whole lot of them.
Give their doctor's wisdom and provide them with insight when choosing a plan for recovery. Give those who are suffering relief from their pain and peace about the care they are receiving. God I pray their families will feel supported and encouraged and I pray Your will be done. Use these circumstances for Your purposes. Help us all to see The Bigger Picture and open our eyes as we recognize Your hand at work. At the end of the day, let there be a bunch of 'WHOA, God! That was awesome"'s being exclaimed.
And, God? Those people I love and even those I don't, who are struggling with drug and alcohol addictions/dependencies? Can you step in? Accelerate their trip to The Bottom, so they hit it sooner, rather than later. And while they are down there, needing help, I'm praying that You've got someone there, waiting. Enable them to grab that offered hand and get the help they need. I pray for those who you've called to be the helping hands. Equip them. Embolden them. Fill them with strength and compassion. Give them the endurance to hang in there over the long haul.
God I pray for the communities that come alongside people in recovery. God I pray you would infuse those gatherings with joy and hope. And that Your angels would stand guard against evil entering. I pray that those who seek help with addictions, find You in the process.
God? Could you be preparing folks to walk alongside those in recovery? Life is hard. And learning to do life without drugs and alcohol is a challenge. Provide friends to those who need them. And protect their time together. Make it rich and meaningful and laughter-filled.
Do we ever screw them up sometimes, no?
SO Many Messy Ones...
Can you do something? Help us? Open our eyes to see each other as You do? Give us extra doses of patience and understanding exactly when we need it most.
Help us end the relationships that are not part of Your plan with kindness and love. And help us repair the ones that You have affirmed. If we need to work on some personal crap before we can deal with relationship dysfunction, provide us with counsellors and friends who help us see our part in the mess. God, in regards to marriages, could you help restore the magic? Clear away some of the baggage for a sec so we can see a glimmer of the spark that used to be there.
You've created us to work.
And mostly, we love working at jobs that align nicely with our gift and talents.
Help those I love who need meaningful work to find it.
Close doors that they need'nt bother going through. FLING OPEN the doors that they should.
And push them towards the right door... they might not know which building it's in. Maybe put a neon sign above it - with an arrow, and a lit walkway and a personal guide?
Could their work-mates be awesome? Handpicked by You. For Your purposes?
Could their bosses be amazing? Chosen by You for such a time as this?
Could their jobs be perfectly suited for exactly who You've created them to be?
Could, at the end of their first shift, say, "That was excellent. So glad I'm working here..."
Could you be with my dad? Keep his mind safe and his body from breaking further. Surround him with your angels.
Could you be with my mom? She'd probably love being surrounded by angels too.
And those that don't know You? Or are running from You? Or are scared to come back to You? Could you just go overboard in getting their attention? Like, go nuts. Be profoundly personal. Be extravagant in Your displays of love. Whisper the words that their souls need to hear. Yell the words they are too stubborn to acknowledge. Wrap Your arms around them when they are vulnerable. Fill their days to intersect with people of Your choosing. Bring friends and companions into their lives who love them and (re)introduce them to You. Don't give up.
Please don't stop calling them.
Please don't grow tired of woo-ing them.
Please don't get weary of loving on them.
Please use all of creation, every little bit of it, to speak to their souls, And enable them to hear.
Dispatch those angels to protect and guard them.
Mostly? Your will be done. Your will be done. YOUR WILL BE DONE.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Foot doesn't have to be amputated.
2. Can eat just fine without that molar.
3. God is always at work. Even when I forget to ask.